susiewong 4:27am, 26 December 2009
I have a Mac computer. with 4 GB ( Snow Leopard)
I am an amateur, but a creative photographer

Have some of Nik Plug-ins such as Silver Efex Pro and Viveza for Lightroom and was recently given a present of some of Topazs' plug-ins

Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4.

Photoshop frustrates me beyond description

As a result as a non-technical person have been finding it hard going using Photoshop and have been spending more time in Lightroom.

I have recently come across Lightzone - It seems relative easy to use in order to achieve a creative and desireable outcome...........

My thoughts before I am institutionalised is to send Photoshop into retirement and purchase Lightzone, basic edition.

Questions I need answered pleased to help me with my decision.

1. Can Lightroom be integrated well with Lightzone i.e. can it be used as an external editor to Lightroom and be returned to Lightroom within a non-destruction process?
2. Will I be able to use my Nik and Topaz editing tools within this integration?

3. If I do away with Photoshop what happens with camera raw that is normally downloaded at the same time with updates of Lightroom?

4. Can Lightroom be used to its best ability without Adobe Photoshop integration and support? This questions also refers to camera raw.
I have always used Lightroom's library systems and not Bridge

Be very grateful if receive advice from the experts out there

Cletus Lee 9 years ago
I can only answer your query partially.

First, I don't use LightZone anymore, not since I got Lightroom. Lightroom's cataloging capability (library) is top rate. The other component of Lightroom are its filtering abilities. This filtering ability is the same functionality offered by LightZone. And the non-destructive nature is more apparent in LR and I find more intuitive.
To answer question #4, I find that I can do about 85% of all photos entirely in LR. I only need a pixel editor for the remaining 15% And this is usually to apply layers, or some other feature not found in LR. Although I have Photoshop, I use Paintshop Pro as my pixel editor. I can call it from with in LR like I could PS, LZ ot any number of other programs.

If you like LZs named filter effects, you should exxplore the multitude of free and fee Develop Presets available for LR.

Question #3: ACR is the same for both LR and PS In LR it is more seamless and less of an add on. IN LR ACR is a DLL (Dynamically Linked Library while in PS(CS) it is a standalone executable LR uses this integrated ACR just to read the RAW format and present an image to you in a visual form. You can uninstall PS or more appropriately CS and LR will continue to work just fine.

The Current release of LR is 2.6 and AFAIK only available as a D/L from Adobe to licensees or as a 30 day fully functioning trial. It contains everything you need to run LR
susiewong 9 years ago
Hi Cietus Lee

Thanks for your response

Why did you choose Paintshop Pro as your as an additional External Editor and not keep Lightzone?

Be grateful if you could explain to a techno tragic what you mean by your following statement.

"The Current release of LR is 2.6 and AFAIK only available as a D/L from Adobe to licensees or as a 30 day fully functioning trial. It contains everything you need to run LR"


Cletus Lee 9 years ago
Why did you choose Paintshop Pro ...
I have used PSP as a low cost ($99) alternative to PS (available for $699, CS4 at $1799 or PSE8 at $99). I find PSP easier to navigate than PS. In addition to PSP, I also own licenses for CS2 and PSE6.

LR nad LZ are fine when all you need to do is bump up the contrast, exposure, brightness etc. or crop the image. PSP, PS & PSE do these things too. If I want to work with layers, selectiveliy adjust the focus, block out the background, etc. LR or LZ are not the tool to use for the job. .

"The Current release of LR is 2.6..."
If you go to the store and buy LR in a box, you get the 2.0 version or the version that was current at the time the package was assembled. If you want the very latest release of LR, you need to D/L it from Adobe to get all the current bug fixes and latest camera patches. Both the physical and electronic copies are fully functional although the CD/DVD in the box may have unfixed bugs or be missing elements to allow you to read the RAW image file from your new model camera.
susiewong 9 years ago
Hi Cletus Lee

thanks for your response

Is there another editing program for Mac other than Photoshop that can using editing processes to change the background, adjust focus similar to what Photoshop can do?

Sue 9 years ago
in answer to one of your original questions, you can set up lightroom with two external editors you can have photoshop and lightzone as your external editing programs, you just right click on the image go to "edit in" select lightzone and lightroom makes a tiff file with your lightroom adjustments applied and exports it to lightzone where you can edit it and when you close it it is automaticly saved back into lightroom, you will see your original and your lightzone edited file side by side in lightroom. i presently use all three but could live without photoshop if needs be but would not want to be without LR or LZ. I can see no reason to retire PS but I would not spend money to up grade it .
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